Prototyping Cooperative ADAS with PHABMACS

Physically realistic simulation allows for quick prototyping of cooperative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for vehicles and VRUs. PHABMACS can simulate complete virtual vehicle environments including vehicle dynamics, sensors, HD lane accurate road infrastructure and communication elements.

As an cost-efficient alternative to commercial vehicle simulators, PHABMACS is designed to be a lightweight, developer-friendly, easy to modify tool to prototype cooperative driver assistance systems. Developers can use the simulated vehicles in PHABMACS first, before applying there code in real test vehicles.

Respective interfaces for sensors and actuators of the simulated vehicle models are provided to the prototype system and can later easily exchange with real sensors and actuators. Additional to a wide range of radar and lidar sensors, communication-as-a-sensor between vehicles and infrastructure is provided to enable cooperative system functions.

Application code and additional sensor models can either be created in JAVA™ and deployed into the PHABMACS framework or interfaced from MATLAB/Simulink®. In combination with our CAN bus hardware interface, PHABMACS can also be hooked up in real-time with any vehicle controller setup and replace real-world vehicles for testing.


Fitting the scope of prototyping cooperative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, PHABMACS addresses two conflicting requirements.

  1. Driver assistance systems need to be aware of the driving dynamics
  2. Cooperativeness requires as many vehicles as possible being part of the simulation

For the former purpose, the simulation needs to map physics as realistic as possible, which results in high computational effort per vehicle. For the latter, we optimized PHABMACS the computational effort by mapping physics realistically, when vehicle parameters are below the limits of driving dynamics, which is sufficient for its scope. Regarding the maximum number of vehicles in the simulation and its level of detail, PHABMACS closes the gap between traffic simulators and high detail vehicle simulations like FEM, K&C, or MKS.

Trade of in simulation between level of detail and number of vehicles

Vehicle Model

The applications to be prototyped can access the simulated vehicles in PHABMACS by controlling their actuators (throttle, brake, steering) and read their sensors. The input on throttle and brake are transformed by the power train (and brake) to move the vehicle model. The powertrain include separate modelling of the engine, the torque converter (and clutch alternatively), the transmission and the wheels. The interaction of the vehicle and other objects of its environment is based on rigid body dynamics.

Model of the longitudinal dynamics

Environment Model

The environment in PHABMACS allows for creaion of arbitrary scenarios. Conveniently, such scenarios can be automatically generated from OpenDRIVE® and Open Street Map (OSM) map material using the street grid, buildings and natural elements like trees, grass, and water. Additional infrastructural elements like construction sites can be added. The standard visualization theme has a puristic, yet appealing rendering style. Customized themes can be implemented easily.

Procedural generated environment model

Part of MOSAIC simulation framework

The integration with MOSAIC Extended enables coupling PHABMACS with other simulation tools of different domains, such as network simulators for V2X/5G communication, specific sensor simulation models, or application modelling tools. For example, simulating V2X communication using the single hop communication models of PHABMACS, is restricted to map simple metrics like delay and packet loss. If a complex communication scenario is needed, e.g. OMNeT++ or ns-3 can be coupled. Combined with traffic simulation tools like SUMO, the PHABMACS simulation can be embedded in large scenarios of communicating vehicles.

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